I had a different post planned for today. I was going to write something cute and sweet about the parent/child date nights we have planned for our summer. Monday was the first: a date for me and my oldest boy. It started well and ended horribly. Actually, I suppose it ended well, but the middle was truly bad.
I can’t write it out in detail (it’s too recent and too raw), but the condensed version is this: a quick and terrible allergic reaction, a mother who forgot to bring the epi-pen, a stranger standing next to us who hands me her own child’s pediatric epi-pen, an ambulance and a crowd of paramedics. The epi-pen did its job immediately and thoroughly, and the boy who couldn’t swallow or talk to me ended the night playing a wild game of cops and robbers all throughout the house.
This morning I used a stain-remover stick to dab a pair of size-4T shorts. The shorts are marked with chocolate sorbet (it was labeled dairy-free) and blood (those epi-needles are serious things). I don’t know if the stains will come out. I’m not sure that I care, but I do wish I had a stain-remover stick for my memory. At breakfast, my boy said, “Last night was scary.” Then I wished I had a stain-remover stick for his memory too.
A year ago, just before we left Chicago, two dear friends prayed for me and for my boy. It was the first time that I actually believed that my son might be healed. I also felt healed, no longer so afraid. For one year I have continued to monitor my son’s food, continued to carry his Benadryl and his epi-pens, but I stopped carrying the fear.
Last night, as I tried to fall asleep, I kept hearing this question: “Are you afraid?” I thought about it. This year I haven’t been afraid because I believed that my son was healed. I believed that food couldn’t hurt him anymore. Now I know that his allergies are worse. Now I see (again) that I am incapable of taking perfect care of him. Am I afraid?
I am tired, and I am sad, but I do not think that I am afraid.
I know that my son was made by a God who loves him even more than I do. And I know: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” (Lamentations 3:22).
In this life, there will always be something to fear. I cannot work hard enough or be vigilant enough to erase every cause for fear.
The only antidote is love. I know that nothing can happen to me or to my child that is not filtered through Love. Nothing touches my life that Love has not allowed.
This doesn’t mean that my worst fears won’t be realized. I do think it means that my worst fears are not worth fearing. Death, for instance. From this side, it might look like the end, but, really, it’s a door. And I know that Love lives on the other side of that door.
What is the very worst that can happen? It might happen. Or, I might make a terrible mistake and forget the epi-pen, and find a stranger standing by my elbow with an epi-pen in her hand. No matter what, we will not be consumed.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear.”
(Isaiah 41: 13)
I so understand this post in a very raw and personal way when it comes to healing. We so need to find some time together. This meant so much to me. Did you read my blog update from yesterday?
I did read your update! I didn’t think I could fit my response into a comment form. Your burden is so much heavier than mine but not unfamiliar. Let’s get together soon!
I’m so glad this ended well for you and your son. I talked to a 13 year old girl yesterday that has close to the same food allergies. When she finished naming the foods she could not eat, I asked her what she could eat and her reply was “bell peppers and tomatoes.” I did find out she can have sugars. Most of us have no idea what it’s like to go through this. Again, your story was wonderful and provided me another inspirational devotion.
wow…love you my friend…we’ll talk soon…
Wow, how great that the Lord provided a stranger with an epi-pen at just the right time! I love that Isaiah 41 verse. Thank you for sharing
Big hugs to you! I love your writings, but I was almost in tears when reading about Thad. So glad that lady with the meds was there! Truly from God. Thank you for posting Isaiah 41:13…needed that since Ryan may have some form of high functioning autism, some days are better than others. Love to you and your family!!
Oh Christie. Praise the Lord for sending along an epi-pen. Praying peace in your heart today.
I am new to your website and found you through Ann Voskamp and the beautiful guest post you did recently.
I can feel the pain that you went through with your son those years ago. I am also a momma of a food allergic child. It is terribly hard to deal with at times, the fear of it all. My son has had this since before he was one and he is eight now. It used to turn my stomach inside out with knots from fear. I have learned over the past two years to hand it over to God and try my best to do that. It has made all of the difference in the world. Hope you have made some peace with that too since your post. God bless you and your son 🙂
Ann-Marie, thank you! I am so grateful for your encouraging words. I, too, have learned (the hard way, is there any other way?) to release my son, and my fear, to God. What a relief. Blessings to you and your child.